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UK's Grangemouth oil refinery strikes Chinese deal

The operators of the Grangemouth oil refinery have struck a deal with China's largest oil and gas producer to safeguard the future of the facility.

Grangemouth refinery operators Ineos announced the joint venture with PetroChina, which will see them work together and share skills.

A similar agreement has also been struck with France's Lavera refinery.

The deal was confirmed after Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang arrived for a four-day visit to the UK.

The UK visit by Mr Li - tipped to be China's next leader - aims to promote trade and political links between the two countries.

The Grangemouth deal will secure 2,000 Scottish jobs, the Scottish government said.

Ineos Chief executive Calum MacLean, said: "These deals are the start of a long-term relationship between Ineos and PetroChina, creating a partnership between one of the world's largest petrochemical companies and one of the world's largest energy companies.

"They present a clear opportunity for Ineos to progress its aim of forming strategic partnerships to help grow and strengthen its business.

"The agreements will provide further investment in our refineries, securing their competitiveness in European markets, and will secure jobs and skills in the UK and France."

Green deal

Si Bingjun, general manager of PetroChina International London, added: "The framework agreement to work towards forming trading and refining related joint ventures with Ineos is consistent with PetroChina's strategy of building a broader business platform in Europe and of becoming a leading international energy company."

The Grangemouth refinery, on the Firth of Forth, processes about 210,000 barrels of crude oil per day, providing fuel to Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland.

The Lavera refinery, which processes 210,000 barrels of crude oil on a daily basis, supplies fuel to France, Switzerland and southern Germany from its location on the coast of the Mediterranean crude oil trading basin.

Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney said of the agreement: "Scotland has unrivalled energy resources and expertise, and the Scottish government is committed to working with China across this sector.

"The Grangemouth refinery is a strategic asset for Scotland and this announcement represents good news for Scotland and Scottish jobs."

It is hoped the detail of the agreements can be finalised by the end of June, after a period of consultation.

At the weekend, it was announced that Scotland and China had sealed a major green energy deal, worth $10m (£6.4m).

It will see technology pioneered in Scotland used at a new renewable energy conversion plant in China.

BBC News

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